Peter Woit is a mathematical physicist at Columbia University. He graduated in 1979 from Harvard University with bachelor's and master's degrees in physics and obtained his PhD in particle theory from Princeton University in 1985. A prominent critic of string theory, he published a book on the subject, Not Even Wrong, in 2006, and maintains a blog of the same title.
Physics is as vulnerable to fads and politics as other disciplines. Math avoids the same fate by being content to stay “completely useless.”
Peter Woit believes that mathematicians and scientists are led astray by seeking “elegant” solutions. But there is one theorem that makes him wax poetic.
Peter Woit explains the “deep relation” between the two disciplines and the most mind-bending new ways in which that relation is being explored.
What is the elusive particle that scientists hope the Large Hadron Collider will shed light on? Why does it matter? And what about those black hole rumors?
The “Not Even Wrong” author explains one of physics’ most famous theories—and why it may have led thousands of scientists down a cold trail.
A conversation with the mathematical physicist at Columbia University.